What is the value of continuing education courses?

It’s not every day that you can do something that’s good for your patients, good for your career, and good for your spirit. Attending the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) Postgraduate Course, May 18-21, 2011, just may be one of those times. 

This biennial program—which alternates years with the American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Conference—is a wonderful opportunity to get the continuing education that is mandated and critical in our profession. I think you’ll find, however, that the benefits go far beyond just accredited CME units. 

During this well-rounded program, you’ll also be inspired by luminaries in our field as they share their perspectives and experiences. You’ll be able to discuss with colleagues the recent controversies around screening policies, and you’ll hear the latest information about all breast imaging modalities—including mammography, ultrasound, MRI, nuclear medicine, etc.

You’ll also have the opportunity to explore vendor exhibits and talk one-on-one with suppliers such as Carestream and many more.  There are so many aspects to this program that I think you’ll find both informative and inspiring—whether you’re a radiologist, technologist, or medical physicist. 

The first day, which focuses on screening and the state of breast imaging, includes a number of lectures that I’m looking forward to. In particular, I’m excited to hear what Robert Smith, an epidemiologist from the American Cancer Society, has to say about breast cancer detection worldwide and the imaging work that’s going on in many countries. 

A number of other sessions will look at the data around the value of screening mammography relative to reducing mortality. I am also very interested in talks on the medical legal pitfalls of breast imaging and how to avoid them, as well as the latest hot topic in the United States, meaningful use. 

In recognition of the critical role technologists play in breast imaging, I’m pleased to point out that the Society has dedicated an entire day to their continuing education. Technologists have the option to register for this Saturday-only session or the entire four-day course.

For more details, download a PDF of the conference brochure. The course will be held in San Antonio, Texas, and you can register for it via the SBI website. 

I truly hope to see you at this program, and to hear afterwards what you thought of it. But I’d also like to hear your perspectives on and experiences with other continuing education in our field. 

How have courses you’ve attended helped you and your patients in the past? And what other conferences or courses would you recommend this year?

Industry collaboration yields improved cost of patient care

The healthcare industry continually raises the bar for IT solutions – and PACS is no exception.  Given the pressures being placed on IT systems, vendors have an increasing responsibility to deliver solutions that exceed industry expectations and help providers deliver superior patient care.  Technological innovation is at the core of this initiative.

Providers across specialties are being challenged to demonstrate a meaningful exchange of patient data.  At the end of March the ONC published its Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2011-2015.  Topping the organization’s list of priorities is a continued focus on health information exchange to improve patient care. As a result, priorities for IT systems are naturally shifting towards platforms that support interoperability and the exchange of patient data.  However, at the same time there is an equally important need for performance capacity that can fulfill the increasing requests for data.

The American College of Radiology maintains that diagnostic image data should be accessible across the healthcare organization.[1]  We foresee that as IT systems work across larger organizations with more users sharing access to image data, our PACS systems will need to maximize the use of server space without compromising speed of study retrieval.  Our software developers have been working with Intel to test the performance of the new Intel Xeon processor E7 product family in our PACS and SuperPACS systems.  Working together on this development, our study yielded 1.28 more frames per second with the new processor.

The implications for providers are significant.  Not only will their systems be on the cutting edge of speed to image access, but facilities can accommodate a larger base of users with reduced server space.  The result is a lower cost, higher quality standard of patient care – in line with the priorities of healthcare providers and reformers alike.

How is your facility approaching the need for wider access to image data?

Meaningful Use in Radiology: Podcast with Dr. Roger Eng

As an addition to our podcast series around the topic of meaningful use in radiology, we spoke with Dr. Roger Eng, MD, Chairman of Radiology, Chinese Hospital, and President of Golden Gate Radiology Medical Group.  Dr. Eng highlights the opportunities and challenges for radiologists that wish to compliance with Meaningful Use.

Click on the link below to access the Podcast, or right-click to download/save.

CarestreamCAST_MU-Roger_Eng

Radiology Image Challenge – What is it?

Our Radiology Image Challenge is back for 2011! 

Image Challenge veterans know that this is one of our readers’ favorites – and ours too – so we’ve made this fun challenge into a monthly series.  You’ll have all month to identify the subject in our educational x-ray quiz.  Leave your guess in the comments section for this post, and the first person to correctly identify the subject of the x-ray will win an Everything Rad mug.

Happy guessing!

Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from entering.